Thursday, June 3, 2010

10 Secrets to Achieve Glowing Watercolor Paintings

LEMON TEA - sold

Over the years I have found through reading, experimenting and instruction how to create watercolors that seem to glow with light. When I was an elementary teacher, I loved how one author illustrated his children's books with pictures filled with light cast from usual angles. Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, Jumanji, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and many, many more books for children. If you check out some from the library, you can study his great art - and how he creates light in both color and black and white drawings.

I have pulled together some of the ways that I create light in my watercolors, such as Lemon Tea (above). For more examples of light-filled paintings, visit my website page of watercolors.

10 Secrets to Achieve Glowing Watercolors

1. Use only transparent pigments.

2. Never use black paint in your paintings - it is dull and lifeless.

3. Create your darkest darks by mixing other pigments such as Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna.

4. Keep white spaces with masking fluid, or by painting carefully around that space.

5. Use color in shadow areas... shadows are full of color, not solid darks.

6. Have areas in your painting where the darkest darks are against the lightest lights for maximum contrast.

7. As a general rule, have your dark shadows 40% darker than your mid-tones of the painting.

8. Use a painting technique known as "pouring".

9. Use a full range of color in your painting - lights, midtones and darks.

10. Use complementary colors to "pop" your focal point.

I hope you will try each of these tips - and that you enjoy the results!

1 comment:

Jean Victory said...

Love the teacup especially the patterns with the tablecloth that you've created. Nice job!